Hello and welcome to Proof’s blog numero uno!
I want this blog to be a place of relevant, honest and authentic opinion grounded in some of my life coaching best practice – I’m going to explore themes that come up not only with my clients but also with me. Things people are occupied with, talking about and caring about.
With that in mind, let’s get to it and can I just give a bit of pre-warning that this one has PG15 content…
I work A LOT in the creative and branding world and, like pretty much every industry you can name, criticism and feedback, whether constructive or not, are ever present factors. So, I wanna talk a little bit about criticism and how you can go round or through it so it doesn’t knock your confidence.
Ah criticism, how we love thee…
There will be some people you feel can give you their view, and what they say gives you an opportunity to grow – it’s like a big roast dinner with all the trimmings for your development, whether that’s personal or professional. What they observe and share about you, or what you’re doing, is of value to you and that’s all good.
Then on the other side of things, there are others that pass judgment and comment on you and what they think you’re about based on assumptions, anecdotes and/or a dollop of spite. (This is a blog post in its own right but that’s literally another story!..)
Many of us will come up against both scenarios regularly. It might be a comment about what you’re wearing, nit picking over the way you could have presented something, questioning if you really know what you’re doing etc.
Depending on who says it and how they say it will depend on your reaction or what you do with the comments and there are loads of different ways to deal with criticism. When you find one that works for you though, it can be a real game changer and I want to share a few thoughts about what’s worked for a couple of maja clients and I recently:
1) Accept that you will feel defensive.
We all wish that we could become so mature that we're not vulnerable to the criticisms of others. But that's not real life. It’s OK to feel like you’re being put in a vulnerable position rather than fake a Billy-big-balls attitude or behave like a robot. You’re human – it’s OK to act like it.
2) Get your head around the fact you’re not going to have a deep connection with everyone in your life.
If you're talking about a key relationship like your best friend, then hanging in there and getting past criticism is much more vital than if it's an irate bar man or even your boss or a bitchy colleague.
At work, asking for specific feedback, then responding without a prolonged emotional interaction can be the way to go. You may just want to say “I'm going to consider this very carefully and try to do my best work.”
3) But here’s my game changer and it applies to when you’re dealing with haterZ or those that falsely criticise… “Do a Paltrow.”
It’s based on some insight she shared in her recent interview with Red Magazine. Ultimately, as divisive as she is, she’s got a point on this one. Taking this advice won’t mean you have to dabble with veganism, work out 6 hours a day or marry someone from Coldplay… but it will mean you’ll stick to your compass and future proof your happiness. When it comes to unwelcome feedback:
Do what is right for you and don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.
Sometimes we are criticised without justification and this is a painful experience. So an option you’ve got is to remain aloof and ignore ‘haters’ and their words completely.
If you remain silent and detached the criticism is given no energy. If you feel the necessity to fight it then, in a way, you give it more importance than it deserves.
If you start to treat yourself as the Oscar winning star of your life – you don’t have to choose Paltrow - that is going to hand out a telling off if they’re not happy, those wicked whispers and criticisms will fade into the ether like they ought to.
When it comes to criticism do what is right for you.
And that’s a wrap for number 1.
What do you think – have you ever pulled a Paltrow and regretted it? Or do you have a no-fail way of dealing with criticism that you think needs sharing?
I’d love to hear from you so post your views below or get social on our wall: https://www.facebook.com/ProofCoaching
Thanks for reading y'all :)
Love Lucy xx